Day 364/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
My mind is churning old family dramas. Having spent Christmas with family it's all too easy to talk family issues and breathe life into them all over again. I'm guilty.
Then for the next several days all my mind can do is turn them over and over and over. Enough already!
When my mind is churning, I'm not living. I'm not noticing what is around me, what I'm doing. I'm not putting my energy and my heart into my current project. I'm not even present. Absent, gone, unaware, dull.
Without real doing it consciously, I am taking an inventory of how well I've managed to stay present this year. You most likely are also. Taking a check on your progress towards your goals, your achievements, the plans you set yourself for the year.
How are you feeling about what you have achieved this year?
From this point forward, I want to focus forward in my life. I want to pay attention to the things that are important to me now. I've checked in and there is no longer any reason to reflect on the dramas of the past. Let them be. No more energy for them. In my mind they are resolved.
Open up to the possibilities that I could never imagine. Taking stock of my interests and focussing on developing them. Where will it lead me? There is no answer to that question. How could I even imagine what life will bring me? There are no plans except to live well by caring well for my body and for my mind.
And to focus on the things that interest me.
The ecology of my garden as I develop it. To meet and greet and learn from the many life forms that arrive here. To converse with the trees and plants and discover their needs, their likes and dislikes. To know their weaknesses and strengths, many of which are man-made through hybridisation and grafting, and to support them as best I can with what I have at hand.
To learn their seasons, the rhythm of their flowering and fruiting, growing and receding into stillness.
To observe other life forms interacting with them, and the impact that this has on them.
Today I begin to be in my garden not just to do chores, but to observe, to love, to nurture and to nourish.
My second ambition is to sit with what is. To observe, allow and be comfortable with being authentic with what is. This is particularly important when I am sitting with clients in therapy, sitting with friends in times of connection, sitting with family in times of grief.
By that I mean, allow and learn. And also to voice my pleasure and my discomfort. To give feedback, welcoming arms and joyful eyes, my experiences, and draw boundaries where necessary.
And 3rd, I want to focus attention to ensuring that my body is in good shape moving forward. I've managed this is fits and starts throughout the years, and now I have the time and energy and desire to love them well. For me that means caring for my digestion and my breathing, both benefactors of my life journey.
They have served me well, as best they can, and now I can nourish and support them in thanksgiving.
In many simple ways I can nourish my body. Daily exercise that happens naturally through garden chores, walking to the shops instead of driving, wandering in the bush.
Eating well from my garden, a garden that has no sprays and no artificial fertilizers. Preparing food for my palate. Delighting in homemade desserts and sweet treats.
And eating when I am hungry, allowing restful time for my system in between.
These 3 interests will be my focus. Am I able to be present to this life that I am living now and allow old thought habits to fall away?
A major chapter is behind me. I have resolved a life-long puzzle and I feel complete with it. Now I get to experience the excitement of the new. Of exploring the world through my interests and allowing what will come my way to come unhindered by plans or goals.
Getting to this point in my life has required a lot of reflection. I needed to understand what shaped me. It needed to be unravelled so that I wouldn't repeat it, could heal it in my own way.
These are now exciting times. My wish is that you will find them as well.
Take the steps that need to be taken. Be wary of new agey advice about being present with what is, when you are still caught up in the dramas of the past. There's a rhythm to life, to every life, and it's our job to find our rhythm and follow it's path.
Take the time to find the answers tot he questions that need unravelling in your life. Don't give up on them.
Look within to find your unique rhythm, your unique area of enquiry, your unique journeying. And allow life to teach you.
Last night I watched the movie, My Octopus Teacher. What a fabulous story of finding his way back to feeling deeply and connecting with nature. It was such a beautiful story for me as I chose this movie ahead of all the others at a time when I was considering the age old question, what's next?
You can use the life in every single day to support and nourish you on your path. Live well.
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.